Monday, January 25, 2010

Share and Share Alike

The Globe and Mail interviewed the husband-and-wife co-authors of Equally Shared Parenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents, a title that could have been shorted to Nifty Fifty-Fifty.

The authors claim that sharing responsibilities is easier — and more efficient — than you'd think. And by "sharing" they mean sharing each responsibility so that either parent can handle any task.

That's definitely not the case in our household. If I saw Jenn dragging garbage cans out to the curb, I'd think she was possessed by an efficient demon, while if I tried paying the bills online, we'd probably be eating dinner in the dark by next Tuesday.

Let's look at how some other chores are shared:

Laundry: I do most of the washing part, though Jenn picks up the slack when I'm lazy. We fold our own clothes.

Cleaning: I'll sometimes do the bathroom and some vacuuming and the kitchen floor, but mostly I just stay of Jenn's way because she does a much better job than I could.

Cooking: It's probably 50/50. I enjoy cooking, and I find it very 1950s when a dad doesn't know his way around the kitchen. Some people are amazed that I can cook. I'm like, "I followed the recipe. Do you know how to read?"

Dishes: I handle most of the dishwasher activities, mostly because I don't like the way Jenn puts stuff in there, like a shoving clump of flatware into one pocket of the rack, rather than sliding each knife/fork/spoon into in a different slot.

The lawn: Asking Jenn to fill the mower and weed trimmer with gas and start the pull-cord thing would be like asking her to change a flat tire without a jack or a spare.

A whole bunch of stuff that Jenn does to keep the household afloat that after all these years I have very little clue about and likely take for granted: Well, you can figure that one out.

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